Who: Esera Tuaolo, Bitch Flowers, and Seven patrons
What: A Hawaiian-inspired luau on a lazy summer evening
When: August 9. 2009
Where: Seven's rooftop Skybar
Why: To celebrate the Aloha spirit in downtown Minneapolis
Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It just feels good being there, surrounded by flowers, the ocean, the mountains, and it's impossible not to soak up the positive, low key vibe that permeates the salty, sultry air. On Sunday, a little glimmer of Hawaii sprinkled downtown Minneapolis at the laid back luau at Seven's Skybar hosted big kahuna Esera Tuaulo, the former NFL player and now aspiring singer.
Esera, who is of Samoan descent and grew up in Hawaii, donned traditional garb, the headdress was made by his mother, and the wooden baton he held was not a magical wand, which I had hoped, but an actual weapon whose teeth were quite sharp when I touched it. Ouch!
The Skybar was decorated with red blow-up parrots and hibiscus. There was a traditional Hawaiian spread, including a roasted pig. Some clown put sunglasses and a plastic lei on the big piggy, and it was rolled out before the guests, where drag queen Bitch Flowers, the other host of the night, kneeled down to face it. "This was my last lover," she said. The mystery of her namesake is resolved.
While DJ Sheik hit the buffet, the highlight of the evening was Esera, who sang a few songs while guests slouched on the comfy couches and chuckled at his jokes. "The more you drink, the better I sound," he said. Oh come on Esera, I was sober, and you sounded great. A real softy, who reminds me of a giant Care Bear, he teased the crowd, "If you feel like coming up here to sing . . . don't. There's only room for one 300 pound Samoan," and inserted his own F-bomb in the lyrics of "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt.
By the time my friend and I left, I was smiling about the tropical allure concocted this summer from my rediscovery of the coconut cocktail after reading this New York Times article, which gives the genre, the "undisputed bimbos of the drinking world," a makeover. My version is simply: coconut water, rum, lime juice on ice served in a sugared-rim glass.